Carl Matt is the only character that changes in the novel, "A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove" by James Moloney. Do you agree?

Essay by dr molbrayJunior High, 8th grade July 2008

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In the novel, ‘A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove’ by James Moloney, many characters, not only Carl, changed throughout the book. Carl was a typical teenage boy with family issues to figure out. Some of the other people who changed in this novel are Skip and Harley. Skip had many reasons to hate the Matt family from an accident but he changed his view about the Matt’s when he realised that you should not judge a person from there last name. Harley learnt how to stay out of trouble. The main character, Carl Matt, changed the most throughout the book.

At the start when we first meet Carl Matt, he was a shy 15 year old boy that had low self esteem but by the end of the book he changes. Due to Carls rough childhood circumstances have left him abandoned by his mum Kerry and his older sister Sarah in wattle beach.

In the care of a grumpy middle aged woman who was his Aunt Beryl “You can sleep on those blankets for now, she said, pointing. Too hot at night to need anything on top of you.” (pg. 20) Carl is forced to leave school and look for a job. This led him to meeting Joy Duncan, She knew him from when Carl helped out her daughter Maddie on New Years. He told her about how he needed to find a job and she said that she would pay him a little bit of money if he could help build a cage for an injured osprey they found on the beach. On the way to Wise mans Cove, where they where building the cage, she introduced him to her husband Skip. On the way back Carl thought because Skip was the only one working on the barge that he could help out. So Carl asked and convinced him to let him help out, and he did. “The boy’s right. We could give him a go for a few days, se if it makes any difference” (pg. 80) this was just the start, when he was down at the beach for New Years he meet Justine, a girl that was very open. Later on in the novel they became very good friends and she gave him a gift of opening himself up and being more himself and open about things. Carl was a big boy “For Carl had grown to be a great lump of a kid, nearly six feet tall on his fourteenth birthday and square, like a box on stumpy legs” (pg. 5) and he has very low self esteem. When he lost some weight from working on the barge with Skip that boosted his self esteem a little. Carl wasn’t the only character that changed, Skip also did, and in quite a big way.

Skip was the owner of the barge, he hated the Matts from an incident that happened a few years ago with him, his son, and Dessie Carls grandfather. Dessie and Skip did not get along very well because of how his son died because of Dessie. “Dessie was angry at losing his job and he blamed Skip, so one Saturday when we were on the beach fishing, Dessie started zooming up close to him in his Ute, passing just a few meters away splashing them with sea spray. I don’t think he really want to hurt skip…” (pg. 82-83) Skip also stereotyped the Matts at the start of this novel by saying “it’s the Matt family there a curse on Wattle Beach” (pg. 103) When Carl came to Wattle Beach and started working for him, he realised that not all Matts are the same and that some can be different. Carl’s Brother Harley is very misbehaved and thanks to Joy, Skips wife she makes him stay out of trouble.

Harley is a boy who liked to get in trouble, but thanks to Joy taking him in and keeping him out of trouble he changed his ways. Harley was caused a lot of mischief by getting in trouble with people. In some ways how got in trouble was by spray painting Nugent’s store “Old Nugent at the general store reckons your brother nicking stuff junk mostly. Lollies, chips...” (pg. 27) Another way how he got in trouble was by him getting in a fight with one of his friends and punching him. “… Harley Matt just about killed Liam Wilson… It Happened just at the bus for Hendon was about to leave. All the school kids witnessed the affair. Cheered at the sight of blood” (pg. 102) Harley stole things from Nugent’s store like lollies and chips and got in trouble with the police. That is why he spray painted Nugent’s store. “… Skip called Harley closer. ‘It was you who did that graffiti all over Nugent’s weren’t it? Harley saw no point in denying it… said it spelt FISH A-R-C… ‘It’s what Liam Wilson says about old Nugent. Says he’s as tight as a fish arse” (pg. 126) Joy Duncan meet Harley through Carl and asked him if Harley would like to come over to Wise Mans Cove instead of making more trouble in Wattle Beach. The first day he went there he made a chocolate cake and he loved bonding with Joy, so he asked if he could come again one day and she said yes. He loved the visits and it was a good way of keeping him out of trouble.

The novel showed how the characters changed through the book. Skip learnt that the Matts were not what he had first thought about them. Harley realised that it was better to stay out of trouble over in Wiseman’s Cove than to make trouble in Wattle beach. Carl changed his prospective of himself and his life, and made new friends that he never really had before.